Downtown retailer expected to bolster local economy
For the past 10 years, the vacant building remained a visible reminder of how the city's downtown area once looked. Years prior, it served as a community anchor that convinced small business owners to open shops in nearby store fronts.
But when the King's Department Store closed its doors in 2001, this part of town went into a downward economic spiral that worsened in recent years when a recession hit the city. Many of the city's once-thriving businesses shut their doors with nothing to replace them.
That changed early today when this long-standing community fixture reopened its doors to the public. The grand opening of the Bealls department store this morning marked a new beginning of sorts for the downtown area, according to city officials.
Having a major retailer in this part of Mountain Home represents a "huge shot in the arm to our economy," said Paula Riggs, who heads up the city's economic development office. In short, it'll encourage people to shop in Mountain Home more often versus making the drive to Boise.
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